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Join Nicole and Jessica from First Saturday Lime as they talk about controlling odors and pests around the farm and garden!
What You’ll Learn
- How to reduce smell in the chicken coop and stall
- Calcium supplement for chickens
- Keeping water free of algae
- Neutralizing cat urine in the garden
- Repelling pests in the garden and around the farm
- Lime as a soil amendment
- Not all lime is the same
- What makes First Saturday Lime different
- Why is the First Saturday Lime logo a frog?
In this episode, we are joined by Jessica of First Saturday Lime. A family business started by her dad, Jessica now runs the business with her sister.
First Saturday Lime is different. Some lime (hydrated lime, calcium oxide, calcium hydroxide) can burn skin, and other lime (dolomitic, straight out of the quarry) isn’t very strong. First Saturday Lime came up with a formulated version of hydrated lime, which is just as strong as other types of lime, but safer. It lacks the caustic nature of hydrated lime, while also containing virtually no silica as in dolomitic lime. It is safe for all animals, including cats, and safe to handle with bare skin.
Resources & Links Mentioned
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Announcer: Welcome to the Backyard Bounty Podcast from heritageacresmarket.com, where we talk about all things, backyard, poultry, beekeeping, gardening, sustainable living and more. And now here's your host, Nicole.
Nicole: Good morning, everybody. Thank you for joining us for another episode of Backyard Bounty. I'm your host Nicole, and today we're joined by Jessica with First Saturday Lime. She's here to kind of help us learn how to keep some smells down around our farm and keep things clean. Jessica, thank you so much for joining me today.
Jessica: Thank you. Hi, everyone.
Nicole: So you are with First Saturday Lime, and it's something that I just recently learned about and I use very heavily around my little poultry farm. Can you tell us a little bit more about the company?
Jessica: Yeah. Well, my family, we're farmers out of Oklahoma. We've had lime in the family as a business for probably three generations now. Originally, we used it as a soil amendment for our farms and then we also got into selling it to other farmers. There is a whole bunch of different kind of lime. So my dad who was very into science and chemicals and all that, he was the one that had this idea for this certain type of lime.
Jessica: I think a lot of people with hobby farms, they have usually heard of barn lime or hydrated lime. Hydrated lime is very strong and it can be used as a pest control, but it reacts with water. So if you touch it, it's going to react with the moisture in your skin and cause burns. So it's not recommended to be used around kids or adults or pets and whatnot. Then the other type of lime, barn lime, that is very safe. It's just pretty much mined and milled limestone, so it's organic. It's very, very dull because it's full of impurities. You really couldn't use barn lime as a pest control because it is just so weak, but you have the opportunity to use it around your animals for odor control and moisture control. They are able to touch it without it having a chemical reaction.
Jessica: So First Saturday Lime, we took hydrated lime. We made it insoluble so it doesn't have that reaction with moisture. So it's just as strong as hydrated lime in repelling insects and controlling bacteria. It's going to be just as safe as barn lime and the fact that most can touch it, kids can play with it, it's completely safe.
Nicole: Is this something that you guys sourced in the US?
Jessica: Yeah. We do all of our mining out of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas.
Nicole: So why do you call it First Saturday Lime, and the question I've always wanted to ask you is why the frog?
Jessica: We get that a lot. Now keep in mind when ever we started this company, it was just me and my sister. My dad had passed and she had inherited the lime farm. We knew this would be a really great alternative. We had to make a manufacturing process to make it work even better, but we didn't have a background in marketing or retail or anything. So it's best as a once-a-month application for pest control. So we wanted something in a name to remind people to reapply every month. So First Saturday is what Jana thought of, and we just put lime because that's pretty much what it is at the end of it. So on the first Saturday, we do shout outs and promotions and giveaways just to remind people, "Hey, it's that time of the month to go ahead and reapply," so that people are constantly using it as a preventative compared to using as a treatment.
Jessica: The frog, we wanted a mascot, and frogs eat bugs. They're really good for the environment but in all honesty, a frog is a family little icon. He was just so cute. Whenever we had our marketing team make him, we're like, "Oh, that's him. That's Ricardo. We're going to like him."
Nicole: Oh, Ricardo the frog.
Jessica: Yes. So it just stuck and we get that question a lot, but I feel people remember the product easily because of him. We do have some people that will put in a testimony on Amazon and they're like, "Oh, this did nothing to repel the frogs." I'm like,"Yeah, sorry. We don't repel frogs. We repel insects." I get how that could make it easy.
Nicole: You actually like frogs. Cool. So I actually found out about First Saturday Lime from the good old internet and doing some research because we recently added ducks to our farm. A little fun fact about ducks is they're disgusting and they make a mess and they smell terribly. It was getting to the point that the smell, we tried different things, putting down rocks and making it so that it wouldn't be so wet. We moved them to a different location with a slope so that it would dry out and just nothing worked. It got to the point that I couldn't control the smell and I was going to have to get rid of them just because we live in a somewhat suburban area. I really didn't want to do that, so I was trying to figure out how to control the smell in their pen. I came across your lime and I figured, "Well, it's not very expensive so I'll give it a try and see what happens." I was absolutely amazed that it did such a great job.
Nicole: We are on the poultry side of things, but I know that you can use it in other applications. We've also used it heavily in the garden, like you said, to repel insects and to give a little calcium boost to our plants. We use it with our chickens, too, but to circle around I guess it really has a ton of different uses. So I know that you guys have your cute little silkies that I always see on your Instagram page. What are some of the different ways that we could use it for? Let's start with our chickens.
Jessica: So chickens is such a great, really made this for just the common household to use as or be a solution for pest control. Because of all the different uses, it is so great with any poultry animal, not only because chickens they're more prone to getting infestations of mites, lice, ants. First Saturday Lime is so effective on those smaller insects, especially drying out the larvae that could be working in chickens or in their bedding. So whenever people use it, they get to see it worked for either infestation or just a prevention of infestation of an unwanted pest and also you said the deodorizing. Because it is so strong compared to barn lime, it's whenever you're working with preventative products it's hard to sell it because you don't have a before and after. People want to like see results. So that's one thing that's really been helpful for us, get amazing testimony and the word of mouth. Because if you put it in with whatever animal you're working with and it's within 30 minutes, you can tell the difference in the smell that's because it's controlling the moisture.
Jessica: Usually when you have a lot of moisture, that's a great environment for bacteria, for mold and then those things are the ones are causing all of the odor. So we're drying up basically the moisture that is holding all of that bacteria and mold and whatnot. Then also if the chicken eats it, it's very, very similar to calcium carbonate. So it's just going to be a calcium source for them. It's very close to Tums so they can, I mean, they can touch it. If they bathed in it, put it in your dust spa, it's going to be able to dry out the larvae that could be in their feathers plus treat the insects that are on them. Then also you can apply it to their water and it will pretty much control, just like a soil amendment for farming, you have to get the right pH levels. Well, if you add it to water that just like a pool, you would regulate the pH levels and you wouldn't have algae. It's a really good algae control as well.
Jessica: It is water insoluble. So you will have to clean out the pan or water trough eventually, but it does keep your water cleaner for longer.
Nicole: I started with the lime for the ducks and then I started looking online and found all these different sources. So I think I use them in all the ways that you mentioned. I sprinkle it in the bottom of the coop, which is dirt. I make sure I put it in their little dust piles that they use and add it to their water and to their nest boxes. I even whitewashed the inside of the nest boxes and the perches and most of the surface area that I could access when I did the last big clean that I did.
Jessica: Mm-hmm (affirmative). How is that whitewashing?
Nicole: I found the instructions or the ingredients to do on your website and I had to make sure I picked up some salt, but it really worked well. The other perch that I did is outside in the elements, so I think the rain washed some of it off, but inside the coop where it's protected it's been really holding up. I love it in the nest boxes because the nest boxes can get dirty sometimes. I feel that's a place that a lot of the pesticide and I feel that really helped and make that a cleaner environment.
Jessica: Yeah. Having a place that's damp is definitely a go-to for insects, but I have to say with the whitewash it is, I think it's really pretty when you do it. I do it just for craps and whatnot, but you have to mix ... We have a lot of people that are doing the whitewashing right now, but it's not a mix and then you'd paint. You have to keep mixing while you're painting because it will settle to the bottom.
Nicole: Yeah, I got one of those paint mixers and put it on the drill and I just kept swirling it around in the five-gallon bucket then I was out there putting it on.
Jessica: Oh, I need one of those, yeah. So it's the arm workout if you're doing a bigger coop or horse stall or whatnot. Everyone's like, "I don't know if it's coming." I'm like, "Yeah, it's at the bottom. You have to keep stirring while you're painting."
Nicole: Yeah. I was a little surprised when I first put it on because it was this tan color and I was like, "Well, but I want to whitewash it, not tan wash it," but...
Jessica: Isn't that crazy? I know I thought the same thing when we were doing tests on it. I was like, "Oh, it's so like, I don't know, just tan" and then it really does lighten up.
Nicole: Yeah, and like you said, it's pretty too. I enjoy the way it looks. I know I emailed you guys when I first got the lime and I was so excited that you sent me a reply so quickly, but I was really worried about it being safe to touch. I mean, you already covered this, but especially when I was out there mixing it with water, I wasn't sure about it at first, and it's nice that it works so well and it's so safe. It's just surprising to me.
Jessica: Yeah. Our number one focus is safety. So we have done all of the testing to make sure that we're safe. A lot of our distributors, just for them to hold the product, you have to do a lot of testing. Safety is our number one focus, and we can pretty much guarantee that. I really worry sometimes because when people see, "Oh, lime. Oh, okay, I'm just going to go get some hydrated lime," because that's, I think that's significantly cheaper at your local retail store, but this is not hydrated lime. So I don't want people to get confused. This lime has never been on shelves before. We have a patent pending product so you're not going to find it within a barn lime or a safe hydrated lime. So we try to make the best of both worlds of the lime, but don't try to use hydrated lime as one of our uses because it's just very, very risky.
Nicole: Yeah. Yeah, it would definitely hurt both you and your animals if you already use the other kind. So with the ducks, like I mentioned, that was kind of the big thing for me. I know that you can use it for both their water to help keep it clean and keep the algae down and then also reducing smell.
Jessica: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Nicole: What's the best way to use it in the duck pond?
Jessica: In the duck pond? It depends on your water level because they splash so much. So if you have let's say a kiddie pool and it's fairly low, you would want to still ... Even though majority of that water is probably going to get splashed out, you want to go ahead and treat that pond anyway just because any leftover moisture is always a habitat for bacteria and especially if it's getting splashed out. That's a really great habitat for mold. So if it is going to get splashed out, make sure that you're treating that water. So whenever it's out, it can have some protection against whatever environment it's in. So you'd want to treat that, and then also with ducks. Because they are so messy especially around their little water pond, you want to treat that area.
Jessica: Keep in mind First Saturday Lime is so safe. You cannot use too much of it. An animal can live on top of a pile of it, it's completely safe. You want to treat that area really well whenever it's coming in contact with the moisture, so you have enough to be able to control and then also neutralize any bacteria that's already growing. That would be it for smell and just make sure that you're treating your water and then a really heavy application around the areas where water could come in contact.
Nicole: When I was looking online on how to use it for the ducks, if I read it correctly, you mentioned that you don't just sprinkle the dry lime on the ground. You actually need to water it in. Is that correct?
Jessica: No. It wouldn't have any effect with the ground.
Nicole: Okay. Maybe-
Jessica: Maybe for a soil amendment, you would water it in.
Jessica: Well, this isn't really high use, but we have people that use poultry in a spot and then they use the fertilizer. They're fertilizing the ground and then they use our lime to neutralize any excess nitrates. Then if you're using that soil to do a garden, then that's when you water it in, but that's high-intense farming sometimes. So I try not to go too much into that.
Nicole: Sure. That must have just been something that I misread. So we want to leave it dry and then-
Jessica: It's most effective-
Jessica: Yes. It's most effective when it's dry.
Nicole: Okay. What are some good ways then to use it in the garden? I've just sprinkled it around my tomatoes because they were getting the blossom-end rot, which can be due the lack of calcium and then squash bugs. Oh, I hate squash bugs. Is there some other uses for the garden and the soil?
Jessica: Yes. We try to keep away from being a soil amendment because it's so confusing compared to other lime products. We always suggest to pour a two-inch with barrier around your garden, so you're creating a protected space from insects that are crawling. Then you can sprinkle on top of any plant stem or leaves. We say to leave out the buds and the petals, so we're not effecting any butterflies or bees. After you sprinkle it, you'd want to wait a day and then give a good watering because it is a strong desiccant. So depending on your weather, you would want to make sure that that plant is getting treated but also at the end of the treatment you want it to be replenished with water.
Nicole: Okay, that's a good advice. I hadn't used it in any other ways than what I mentioned before. So basically you could potentially dry the plant out if you left it on too long.
Jessica: Yeah. It depends on the plant, but a lot of our testing usually plants, depending on which ones, were okay because they're getting that water source through their roots. Then we also test it on plants that were cut and all the plants that were cut, they just dried up so much quicker because they don't have that root system. I mean, most of the time in your garden you're going to have a root system, but we always say it is a desiccant. So you want to give it time to do the treatment, but then you also want to water within a day. It could go two to three days, but you want to make sure that you're having your plant hydrated as well.
Nicole: Okay. Another way that I use it that has been really helpful too is we have a couple of outdoor cats and they have actually one of our old chicken coops. We lock them up there at night just to keep them safe from predators, and then we let them out during the day. They have gotten into my flower gardens and used it as a litter box. I also learned after getting the lime for the ducks that it works to help neutralize some of the cat urine so I could reuse that area. So I was really excited about that.
Jessica: Yes, yeah. So that's a lot of the, going back to just lime in general, different kinds, but farmers use it for a soil amendment because if you have cattle or whatnot and they get too much of the pneumonia from urine, then you're not going to have good soil. So you mix it with lime and it will neutralize the pH levels for successful growth. So same thing with your yard. I foster way too many dogs and dogs they have the habit of just going in one spot so you get those yellow patches in your yard. So I treat my yard with it to keep the yellow patches away and then also the smell as well. I have one dog that he's so lazy. He won't walk to the grass. He just pees on the cement. So I have area that smells because of this lazy dog, so I had to treat that as well for smell.
Nicole: I didn't know about that. We have a yellow spot in our lawns so I guess I have to use it there.
Nicole: Then it's great because it's safe for cats and cats are so sensitive to stuff. So in our little chicken coop thing that we have for them, I can just go and sprinkle it around because sometimes they will go in the dirt there. So I'll clean out the dirt and then I can sprinkle the lime. You would never even know that there were cats in there. It's great.
Jessica: Yes, it is, yeah. When we first started, we had a lime farm. So it was all outside and then we needed a barn to do the packaging process for it. My dad after he passed, we had this little barn that we never went into and it was just full of just stuff. We are going to use it to start packaging up our bags and filling there and everything. There was some random cat there that had been living there for a while. It was really nice and we named it Tammy, but it was going to the bathroom and random spots and we were just about to bring our lime up. So we're like, "Okay, we have to find a home for this cat." I work as a foster dog mom, so I used the foundation that I worked with and I found her a home.
Jessica: Then a month later, they told me that the cat had kittens. I was like, "I swear. I had no idea." They're really nice about it and they found the kittens home and got her fix after. So it turned out to be a good story, but I felt bad. I promise I did not know that she's pregnant.
Nicole: Oh, my gosh. You never know.
Nicole: So are there other ways that you recommend using lime around? I don't have other livestock like horses or goats or anything, but I'm sure that there's probably other ways to use it that I'm not aware of.
Jessica: Yeah. So right now in the fall season, it's so important for everyone to keep up with their regimen of pest control. Because we're preparing for winter, so it is the bugs. A lot of them go underground, go in trees, whatnot, but there are going to be bugs that are persistent on taking shelter in your home. So you would want to treat your home and these months are the months that are really dire for a treatment before winter. That is going to be pouring the two-inch per meter around the base of your home on the outside and that's going to keep away any common household insect that you see. A really big one in the fall that's still active is fleas. Fleas are really active in fall for some reason, I'm not really sure why, but there's a really high increase with flea problems. So we treat the home and then we also use the yard spreader and we put a light layer of First Saturday Lime in the yard to treat for any fleas.
Nicole: Okay, that's a good idea. We don't have fleas here really, not too much. So I wouldn't have thought of that.
Jessica: You don't have fleas? You're so blessed.
Nicole: Not to the extreme of you guys don't [inaudible 00:24:57].
Jessica: I met someone else the other day. That's so funny you said that because I met someone the other day. They're like, "What about the fall uses now?" I was telling them about the fleas and they're like, "Oh, we don't have fleas." I was like, "What? What is this world where you don't have fleas? Why am I not there?"
Nicole: Great. Well, you probably do too, but we have rattlesnakes and scorpions and tarantulas and those things.
Jessica: Yeah. Well, I guess there's a balance to everything.
Nicole: The miller moths, they're terrible here. They actually leave their larva in the soil, so there's little grubs. So I'm thinking maybe I could maybe help the lime for those, but.
Jessica: Definitely, yeah. It's really good for larvae control, too. A common insect that we did not know that we would be so effective on and we didn't even put any test on it because we were like, "Oh, that'll be hard. So let's not do that," is the fly. Because a lot of our horse owners and goat owners, they said, "The flies are crazy, oh my gosh. Using your product, they have gone down so much." In the beginning we're like, "what? How do you sprinkle on the flies? That's so weird." Then we found out that it was a lot of the manure flies go to and then they lay eggs, they eat, whatnot. So we're really cutting off their reproduction cycle at the source. So that's why people are seeing a decrease in flies. We still haven't paid for a third party on flies because we just didn't think that would be a result, but it's been crazy how so many people see an effect on flies in their barns from using the product.
Nicole: Yeah, that's a good idea. I didn't think about that. So is it predominantly best to use on soft-body insects, the maggots and things? Or can it work on the hard-bodied insects, ones with an exoskeleton?
Jessica: Yes. I mean both exoskeleton and soft. I feel the smaller the insect, the better it works by. It's a repellent more compared to a desiccant. If the insect is small, then it has an increased chance of dying. We're really creating an atmosphere where they can't lay eggs. They can't survive in more than just sprinkling on a bug in it dying. So really it's based on the insect size compared to which body it is.
Nicole: Okay. Yeah, that makes sense.
Jessica: And their larvae, if it's a egg or if it needs moisture or whatnot.
Nicole: So I have signed up for your subscription service. So the first Saturday of every month or just a little bit before I received a package of I believe it's a 20-pound bag of lime and it's actually super affordable, but I know that you sell it as just a one-time purchase as well. If somebody wants to try it out and see how it works for their garden and for their chickens, how would they go about finding First Saturday Lime?
Jessica: Well, they can find us on Amazon and then also we have a store locator on our website. So if you want to go to your local retail store, we're nationwide now and we're still working on getting into more and more stores. So you can go on there and see which stores that we are currently in, or you can always purchase. We have a 20-pound bag or a five-pound bag on our website, which is www.firstsaturdaylime.com. Subscriptions are always the best price point. That's the lowest that we can give our customers. We have so much fun with it because you get a free gift and we do little spiels and themes and whatnot. So it's really fun and we try to keep it just as simple as possible. So you can ... If you want to do a one-time month subscription, you can do that. You can inactivate or activate your subscription at any time.
Nicole: Oh, okay. I know that I've enjoyed the little gifts. This last one was the little bulbs that you guys sent out and that was super exciting.
Jessica: Yeah, and that's also a natural pest control, those little flowers. So we try to make it where it's natural or outdoor themed. So we have a lot of fun with it. We have meetings on just ideas to what tickle you guys.
Nicole: Well, you make great choices. I've been thinking about adding a second 20-pound subscription just because I think I use it everyday around the farm. If it wasn't for you guys, I would have not been able to keep my ducks and it's made my chickens healthier. I was so excited to find your product. Thank you for doing what you do and keeping our farms smelling good and pest free.
Jessica: Thank you. This is why we went from farming to retail, it's just to be a solution for people. So we love hearing feedback and comments like that. So thank you.
Nicole: Of course. Well, Jessica, thank you so much. I really enjoy you taking the time to share with us the different uses and how to help, make everything a more pest free and healthy around our farm. I appreciate your time today.
Jessica: Yeah, thank you.
Nicole: For those of you at home, thank you so much for listening to Backyard Bounty and we'll see you again next week.
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